Added Nov 10, 2010
Austin, Texas, U...
To gather the extra fabric into the hem, and make it fit nicely and neatly, I'm going to run an ease line. That's when you sew a line of long stitches (4.0 setting), and then pull up the threads to help "shrink" the fabric. Notice I'm using the added step of firmly holding the fabric BEHIND the presser foot, as the feed dogs grab it and pull it through the machine. (Sometimes I find that my finger works just fine for this maneuver, but my little sewing tweezers are great, too.) Once I get a lot of bunching of the fabric behind the presser foot and I can't hold it firmly anymore, I stop sewing, release the fabric from behind the presser foot, and start the process of sewing again. This action creates miniscule pleats that help dramatically with gathering and easing. (Try it on a sleeve cap sometime — you'll be amazed.)
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